Topic: Housing

Homeowner challenges other property owners to help homeless

By Mānia Clarke
  • Auckland

A South Auckland homeowner is offering cheaper temporary accommodation to a family of eight from Te Puea Marae, and his challenging other property owners to follow suit. 

The Leaoasavaii family were getting the top floor of their home ready for rent to the market, but now a family of eight from Te Puea Marae will be moving in.

Home Owner Danny Leaoasavaii told Te Kāea, “Te Puea marae took the first steps, and just highlighted to all of us, that there's a big problem there.  We got space.  I spoke with my wife and she said yeah, why not you know.”

Danny will rent their four bedroom floor at a cheaper rate, as a temporary home, while the family waits to be placed in a state home.  He is encouraging others who can, to do the same.

“They're a Māori  organisation, but the people they open up to, you know they got Pacific Island people, that's my people in there you know, and so the response needs to be together.”

It's been nearly six weeks since the marae opened its doors to the homeless. Since then they've been 46 assessments of need, with 24 placements into either temporary or permanent housing.

The home will be available to families from Te Puea for six months.  However, Danny says the government needs to step up and do more.

“It's about our kids and if we can't provide a future, with safe housing or shelter, it's like what are we doing as a country, it falls on the government.  I think they just need to open the eyes.”

The family is expected to move into this home tomorrow.